When Shigekata Kurita, an employee at NTT DoCoMo decided to put his amateur designing skills to use in an attempt to revolutionize digital communication- by putting an end to the weariness of digital texts- he ended up creating emoji, which spread from Japan and are now an inevitable part of our digital communication. The ever-growing popularity of emoji was cemented when in 2011 Apple introduced it on their phones. The importance of an emoji human communication received recognition when in 2015 “the tears of joy” emoji was chosen by Oxford dictionary as the Word of the Year. Emoji have even made it into a movie.
While emoji have in a way revolutionized and “cutie-fied” our texts, some find it extremely essential to use in everywhere. I know people who use emoji instead of full stops (not annoying at all!).When you hurriedly open your Whats App group, flooded with hundreds of messages expecting something huge, you see people -real people with brains -who had send more than 150 texts back and forth using emoji. Many purists argue that emoji and sometimes unidentifiable shortened texts are killing languages. But things change with time, even though I do feel that we take it way too far sometimes. The truth is many people, such as myself is emoji – illiterate. That is, I don’t know what most of the emoji mean apart from the basic smiley faces. So you can understand my confusion when people build entire conversations with emoji.Also, emoji are not exactly very sincere, I’ve seen people sent the ‘ tears of joy’ emoji in response to some jokes without batting an eyelash. It’s humans we’re talking about, surely we can’t capture the myriad and subtle human expressions in a yellow circle.
Here is a sample of the various phases of an emoji-illiterate person :
In spite of my complaints , I actually like them. As always it’s us who takes the fun out of it. When someone sends an emoji with a text it does warm your heart (a little). It also establishes a sort of easy familiarity and saves you from expressing your emotions in words . This is probably the most important part – saves you the effort of typing letters (Imagine the struggle !). But still, an emoji movie? – A little too much, don’t you think?